Ladies are Champions; Men in Europe

By Reading Hockey Club • Apr 9th, 2011 • Category: Events, Home Page, L1, M1, Match, News

On a sunny day at Cannock HC’s Chase Park ground, Reading’s Men and Ladies both recorded victories that each make a piece of History for the club.

The Ladies topped off a fantastic second half of the season by beating rivals Leicester 3-2 in the final of the England Hockey League Championship – becoming champions for the first time in the club’s history, some 29 years after the ladies section was formed in 1982. Reading took an early lead through Jo Ellis only to see Leicester’s Rebecca Herbert equalise. Two more goals from Kate Walsh and Emma Thomas, both from penalty corners, gave Reading a deserved 3-1 half time lead. Although Leicester did pull one back shortly after half time through Anne Panter, Reading continued to play strongly and ran out worthy 3-2 winners to lift the trophy.

Earlier in the day, Reading men bounced back from their disappointment at narrowly losing their semi-final match at East Grinstead last week, and took on a strong Surbiton side for 3rd place, but more importantly for the final Euro Hockey League qualification place for 2011/12. Reading were always in control of the game, and were rewarded when Stephen Dick gave them the lead after 19 minutes. Two second half penalty corner conversions by Richard Mantell gave Reading a comfortable 3-0 lead, and despite Surbiton pushing hard and grabbing a late consolation goal through Matt Daly, held on to clinch their European slot for next year – keeping alive a run of 16 straight seasons of European hockey for the club.

So both sides will play in Europe next year – a wonderful achievement for all concerned – and another piece of history… Can anyone remember any other English club that has achieved this double????

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